Dakota War College does its sponsors’ bidding again, this time forwarding the Koch Brothers’ effort to jam direct democracy by discouraging people from signing any ballot measure petitions.
While I agree in general with the “advice” Americans for Prosperity offers—ask questions and think about a ballot measure before you sign a petition to place it on the ballot—Pat Powers’s post of AFP’s warning contains one false statement:
ASK the person collecting signatures if they are from South Dakota. Only South Dakota residents can legally gather signatures for ballot questions. They must show you their driver’s license if requested [Americans for Prosperity, “Stop Think & Ask—Before Signing a Petition,” 2017.09.28, reposted on Dakota War College, 2017.09.29].
Yes, circulators must be South Dakota residents. Yes, I support asking circulators where they are from and for whom they are working. However, no state law requires petition circulators to present driver’s licenses or any other form of photo ID. The only identifying information circulators must give citizens is the new statement mandated by a 2016 law telling “the name, phone number, and email address of each petition sponsor; and a statement whether the petition circulator is a volunteer or paid petition circulator and, if a paid circulator, the amount the circulator is being paid” (see SDCL 2-1-1.1 for initiated amendment circulators, SDCL 2-1-1.2 for initiated law circulators, and SDCL 2-1-3.1 for referendum circulators).
Circulators are asking you to write your name and address on a public document. If they won’t reciprocate with the same information about themselves, then they have no moral right to ask for your information. But there’s no must here, at least none that you can take to the cops or the courts.